Fedora Release Time: Welcome F26

Submitted by Scott Dowdle on Sat, 07/08/2017 - 18:40

There was a GO / NO GO meeting earlier in the week and the Fedora 26 RC 1.5 build passed.  As a result Fedora 26 will be officially released on Tuesday, July 11th.  According to the original schedule, F26 was set to be released on June 6th.  It got bumped 5 times during the alpha and beta phases but that pretty much always happens to this distro that is constantly leading the pack with innovation. 

What are the new features?  Check out the release notes and/or the changeset.  There are quite a few changes to the installer. Just be aware there are a ton of normal updates beyond the changeset and I mean... how about that new desktop background?  LXQT users will also be happy to have their own Spin now.  Don't forget that Fedora appears to be supporting quite a few arches, some as primary and others as secondary.  Not as many as Debian and Gentoo but still.  Which arches?  aarch64, armhfp, i386, ppc64, ppc64le, and x86_64.  I'm only using the later myself.

I've been using Fedora 26 since before the alpha release.  How is that?  For many years now they have been producing nightly-builds if you knew where to look.  I just took one of the nightly builds and did an install... and then crawled along updating all the way through alpha and beta to final.  I mainly start early because I like to build my own remix with all of the desktop environments installed and the earlier I start the longer I have to work on perfecting it to my own tastes.  Here's some instructions if you have any desire to make your own spin or remix.  About the time the beta came out I started running F26 on my laptop and work machine exclusively.  It has been stable for me the entire time.

My main home server machine is always the last to move to a new release and I just upgraded to F26 from F25 today.  Since I have a lot of packages installed it did take a while.  Let it be known that rpmfusion has had packages for F26 since around the alpha release and as a result I was able to just upgrade everything and not have to worry about removing much because third-party packages were missing... because they weren't.  For a long time I have been a fan of clean installs but with the home server I have a particular application installed that has to pull down a ton of data post install if I were to do a clean install (plexmediaserver)... so I've been upgrading that machine with each release for quite a few releases now.  Upgrades for me have been completely painless for several releases now.  It helps when Linux / Fedora likes your hardware and you aren't using any proprietary drivers (no nVidia here).

Fantastic job Fedora Project!  I also wanted to give a shout out to the fine fellows that make up the Respin SIG.  They have been providing updated iso media for all of the Fedora Spins (including Workstation) for several releases now and generally make new ones every other kernel update, which in Fedora is quite often.  I'm not sure everyone knows about the periodic refreshed media that they provide because they are mainly only promoted on Fedora Planet and the Fedora IRC channel.  Keep up the good work!  There are a ton up post-release updates for Fedora 26 already so I'm sure they'll be getting to work on refreshed F26 media RSN.

Videos: MontanaLinux CentOS Remix

Submitted by Scott Dowdle on Fri, 06/17/2016 - 16:28

As you may know, I've been remixing Fedora for several years for my own personal use... called MontanaLinux.  I've also been remixing CentOS and Scientific Linux and thought I'd write a little bit about it.

The main reason I created the EL7 remixes is because I have a few older HP Proliant servers at work that have the CCISS Raid Controller and Red Hat dropped support for those in RHEL 7.  Also, I originally included both GNOME and KDE as part of it but have since decided to make it leaner by switching to XFCE 4.12 that is available in EPEL... and of course it includes all of the available updates as of build time.

I make two flavors:

  1. Minimal - Just the basic XFCE with no desktop applications.  This is pretty close to the CentOS minimal install except with X11 and bare bones XFCE.  It weights in under 550MB.
  2. Full - XFCE with Firefox, LibreOffice, GIMP, Inkscape and a handful of useful tools like gParted, nwipe, rdiff-backup, etc.  This weights in under 900MB.

Here are two short screencasts in webm (vp9/opus) format.  The first shows the minimal install and the second one shows the full.  While I'm not trying to provide a primer of the Anaconda installer, I do rush through it both times and show you post install first boot.

MontanaLinux-CentOS-7-Minimal-20160617.webm (8 minutes, 7.1 MB)

MontanaLinux-CentOS-7-Full-20160617.webm (5 minutes, 4.4 MB)

If anyone is interested in downloading my remix or building it themselves just email me and I'll be happy to provide the needed details.  Luckily livecd-tools with livecd-creator makes it not only possible to make your own spin / remix... but fairly easy if you aren't scared of some command line.  Enjoy!

SSL Certificate and Future Developments

Submitted by Scott Dowdle on Thu, 12/03/2015 - 18:05

The topic of the BozemanLUG meeting tonight is the Let's Encrypt project. Today I got an SSL certificate for this site from Let's Encrypt and I would like to encourage everyone to use the https version of this site. Your browser should love the new certificate and automatically accept it.

Ghosts of SSL Certs Past
I have used a free SSL cert but it expired. Since then I've used a self-signed one as everything I do on the site is over https since I want to avoid getting my admin account credentials sniffed out over plain-text... but asking the rest of the world to accept my self-signed SSL cert? That's just too much.

Now that I have a good cert, I might force https at some point but not yet.

Future Developments
This site is ancient. The software running this site is ancient... and the distro it is running on is ancient. I hope to change that sometime after the new year. The limiting factor was a lack of public IP addresses... as I wanted to create a new OpenVZ container with newer stuff on a different IP address. In January we should have 5 additional IP addresses and I can at least get started on a new site while leaving this one running until the new one is ready. I'm not even going to guess when I'll be done enough with the new site so this old one can go away, but hopefully sometime in 2016. :)